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Weekly Discussion: Terrible twos (four or five years late)

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
They refuse to try. When they aren’t with a friend they cry. Wandering off from their activity or circle time is common. They want one on one attention all the time. They interrupt other girls. It’s “never their turn” just after they had a go.

Some girls are surprisingly mature when they start Rainbows or Brownies. With some experience from school they have some concept of turn taking, not always having an adult at hand to help and not always being with the same friend all the time. But some girls start and it’s clear either Rainbows is toally different to anything they have been exposed to or that Brownies has been a big jump.

They may not be being intentionally “bad” but it can be very wearing, especially when other girls start getting sucked into the behaviour.

What are your tips for:
  • Getting girls out of habits/expectations from home/ Rainbows
  • Managing “immature” behaviour
  • Preventing such behaviour from effecting unit ethos (older girls pandering, short tethers from volunteers, other girls joining in…)

*This is intended to be separate to girls with a genuine developmental condition who would require different consideration.*
 

Cathy

Veteran (100+ posts)
#2
I'll be interested in the response to this - we have a Rainbow who is nearly 7 and terrible with this. We are persisting with an approach of "ignore the strop" but it is heartbreaking to see her school friends trying to manage games etc. to make sure she is happy/thinks she is winning.
 

Fox

Brownie-induced madness
#3
My top tips from a fairly good sport (happy to lose a game bless him!) but SEN son, and some "too cool for Brownies" older girls are:
Praise for the positive even if it's TINY ("oh Flossie is coming over to the ring, great listening Flossie" when Flossie has edged towards the group.
Good sitting, good listening praise with names for everyone.
Ignore most things except actual aggression (if this is an issue, even if it's verbal, ask school/parents what their discipline tactics are)
If we are doing X then everyone is doing X and there's no "I want to play another game".
If a persistent "this is boring I'll just sit here with my friends" then there are always tidying up jobs ON YOUR OWN to be done.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#4
Have a chair in the corner of the room (whichever corner). There is a straight choice between joining in with what the group are doing, or sitting quietly on the chair. All those participating in the activity are informed that they should concentrate on the activity, and ignore those who choose to sit on chairs. If someone decides to leave their chair and join in, no fuss is made, they are simply allowed to join in at that point. Thus sitting out gets you no attention.

Keep a record of 'turns' and be ready to show it to the girls. (with a game like ladders or fruit salad I'll usually record it as five-bar-gate, so I can quickly show how even the turns have been).

We do a number of activities in Sixes, so that they are working in smaller groups (it can be less overwhelming for the new starts than being in a crowd including large numbers of older ones). And there are times when we do Adventure work in peer groups (so all the youngest ones are working together, and getting to know each other). So they are getting to spend time in small groups with friends, as well as in whole-unit activities.

For some games we use a 'sin bin' row of chairs, which the players shuffling up the row as more players are out, and once they are shuffled off the end of the row they are back in the game with no further penalty. It means that they are out of the game for a time, and thus are penalised - but they aren't left sitting bored whilst watching the others have all the fun for too long, and they will get the chance of more practice at the game soon.
 

Tawnyowl51

Veteran (100+ posts)
#5
Have a 'TO BE' and 'HAS BEEN' bag, names are taken from' to be' when someone needs to be chosen and put in 'has been' until everyone has had a turn.

Saying THANK YOU XXXX for ....... in a loud voice when she has sat down, put chairs away etc, so Flossie can see who is getting positive attention.
Counting down from 5 to sit, put on shoes etc, not my favourite strategy but it can work.

Rather than have girls be Out in games, give the losers a token, button, counter and let them carry on, they re the ones who need practice anyway. The winners have no tokens when the games end
 

elleeffe_13

Beginner (10+ posts)
#6
Would you believe I had a guide aged 11 with the same issues??! We have a time out corner and she has to wait her turn like everyone else despite pushing in front every time. When this girl had a giant strop at camp about her groups skit she stormed off to her bed and I went and told her a couple of times she could come back and join us when she was ready. Eventually she joined back in when she heard us having so much fun. It is very painful but the other guides helped too by calling her out on her bad behavior too...
 

Kochanski

Veteran (100+ posts)
#7
We genuinely have very few issues with this so I am wondering what will happen when a certain Rainbow I know joins my Brownies later this year. I suspect there will be a period of making the rules and expectations very clear (said to everyone in the circle, not singling her out) and massively over-rewarding every little thing that is right until the point is made. The rest of the girls are just great, and we have six points that earn prizes they really care about, so they will put a little peer pressure on I'm sure - and that's waaay more effective than any nagging from an adult!
 

JJJJ1980

Brownie Leader x 3
#8
I have a little group of 8/9 year olds that get very worried if a friend is not there or they might be in different groups. They are all in different sixes but like to know another friend is going on the trip or whatever it might be. Having said that one of them cut her finger this week and she didn't make a murmur! We washed it and bandaged it up and she carried on as normal - i was expected full on melt down! Amazing how social pain is felt more keenly than physical pain.
We have a few elastic brownies too but they have diagnosis with letters on their forms. We just try to offer reassurance when needed and carry on as normal whenever possible, with a leader keeping half an eye on the situation.
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#9
A problem we’ve had with some of the younger girls is getting them to keep their clothes on properly. Including pulling their arms in and moving their arms about, not pulling their trousers up, and trying to take their tops off.

With our safeguarding hats on there seems to be no pattern (other than one girl saying that she’s too hot when she does it, we guess it’s happened elsewhere as Mum has started putting a vest or tshirt under her) or anything that triggers it. We’ll just be in the starting circle or doing activities.

We just keep telling them to put them on properly and reminding them that they need to wear a top/have their arms in their sleeves/trousers up at Brownies. This is usually responded to. I know some younger children are clothes adverse and some people have sensory issues but the fidgeting is distracting to the other Brownies and being clothed is a preference! Any one got any other helpful advice please?
 

helenfelen

Veteran (100+ posts)
#14
A problem we’ve had with some of the younger girls is getting them to keep their clothes on properly. Including pulling their arms in and moving their arms about, not pulling their trousers up, and trying to take their tops off.

With our safeguarding hats on there seems to be no pattern (other than one girl saying that she’s too hot when she does it, we guess it’s happened elsewhere as Mum has started putting a vest or tshirt under her) or anything that triggers it. We’ll just be in the starting circle or doing activities.

We just keep telling them to put them on properly and reminding them that they need to wear a top/have their arms in their sleeves/trousers up at Brownies. This is usually responded to. I know some younger children are clothes adverse and some people have sensory issues but the fidgeting is distracting to the other Brownies and being clothed is a preference! Any one got any other helpful advice please?
i have a few Rainbows & Brownies that do this, also chewing their clothes or sucking their cuffs (yuk it makes me shudder) we have one who wears slip on shoes & is always kicking them off & another that wears a courdroy mini skirt which rides up & bunches round her waist every week! My Rainbows are always messing with their clothes especially in circle time!
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#15
Ah yes I forgot about shoes, taking shoes AND socks off is very popular, as well as putting their own laces or straps together so they cannot walk properly! They are told that until they return to normal they can't join in.